Tuner squeezes extra power and torque from BMW M550d xDrive
When driving the latest BMW M550d xDrive you don’t really feel that what it needs is extra power and torque, but that has never stopped tuners from turning things up to eleven. German tuner mcchip-dkr has unlocked more of everything from the quad-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six, and it now offers two stages of power.
2018 BMW M550d xDrive - Driven
Europeans have enjoyed plenty of fast diesel cars over the last decade, and even in the wake of Dieselgate, manufacturers are still offering fast oil burners which don’t get much faster than the BMW M550d xDrive. The most unique thing about it is its power plant which uses no fewer than four turbochargers on its three-liter straight-six diesel to achieve some remarkable performance numbers.
Being a BMW, it drives with great precision too and even if it’s a bit on the heavy side, agility around bends is not an issue. It has plenty of tech on board to ensure fast driving is not only possible, but also enjoyable and surprisingly frisky - unlike other lesser-powered all-wheel drive diesel BMWs, the M550d’s tail will step out when you stab the throttle on corner exit.
It also stands out alongside lesser 5-Series models, thanks to the standard-fit M Performance aero pack, trunk lid spoiler and massive M brakes with blue calipers; the only other 5-Series which could attract more attention is the mighty M5.
Only available in Europe, the M550d is not the most powerful diesel in the world, but it is by far for its engine displacement. Being a diesel, it’s also considerably more efficient than a gasoline burning performance car with the same output and if you can refrain from driving it like a hooligan (which it kind of edges you to) its large fuel tank means you can cover quite a lot of ground without having to stop.
Porsche Pulls the Plug On Diesel
Amidst the aftermath of Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, Porsche has decided to ditch diesel engines from its line-up entirely. The Stuttgart automaker is exploring hybrid and electric technology since the segment is picking up pace at an alarming rate, which has reduced diesel sales substantially. The question now is, how will this affect Porsche sales in the future?
Reasons Why You Should Not Be Disappointed By Diesel Ford Ranger Raptor
One thing is for certain. The new Ford Ranger Raptor is cool, capable, and off-road ready right from the production line, and it’s definitely an interesting proposition even for big-truck-loving Americans.
Sizewise, it is a truck similar to the Colorado ZR. “Characterwise,” it is a dune-fighting fun machine designed for the most intense off-roading tasks. While we in the U.S. are still waiting for Ford to confirm that the Ranger Raptor will come, the rest of the world is basking in the greatness of the potent truck. The thing is that the Ranger Raptor for the rest of the world is actually powered by a small diesel engine - not something that’s very popular here, is it?
While I am among those who believe the Ranger Raptor in the U.S. will get a 2.3-liter EcoBoost, I have to tell you a number of reasons why you should not be disappointed even if we end up with the diesel Ranger Raptor.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Arrested in Munich
Rupert Stadler, Audi CEO since 2010, has been arrested in his home in Munich following a diesel emission probe which links him to the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. His arrest was instructed by prosecutors who had reason to suspect that Stadler might try to destroy or suppress evidence pending the investigation.
Up to 1 Million Mercedes Vehicles Could have Illegal Emissions Devices
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler could be in hot water from Germany’s road vehicle authority KBA after the agency found five “illegal switch-off devices” in the automaker’s car engines. According to a report from German newspaper Bild, more than 1 million vehicles are suspected to be affected, most of which make up Daimler’s new fleet of Euro 6 diesel vehicles.
Video of the Day: Tearing Down a 430,000-Mile Engine
High-mileage engines are something special. It’s not uncommon to see an engine go beyond 200,000 miles these days, but there was a time when anything above 250,000 that didn’t sport a Honda badge, meant you had to pray to the car gods it would start and get you to work each day. In this video, we’re looking at the teardown of a running engine from a Skoda Octavia – one that has amassed a total of 430,000 miles or just over 692,000 kilometers. The good news is that, once the teardown is complete, the mechanic on duty is giving the old girl a full rebuild to provide this 430,000-mile beast a new (hopefully long) lease on life. But, I’ll stop there and let you see what it looks like on the inside for yourself. Go ahead and click play, then fill up our comments section with stories about your highest-mileage car.
Volvo Kicks Diesel to the Curb for the 2019 S60 and all new models beyond
Apparently, Volvo thinks that axing its diesel engines is evidence of its “commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine.” Reading a line like that, you would think the lineup would be magically shifting electric-only propulsion, but that’s not the case. Starting with the 2019 Volvo S60, all new Volvos will only be offered as mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids, or all-electric. So, despite that commitment, gasoline-powered engines still have a home at Volvo – they just need some kind of hybridization to piggyback on.
While Volkswagen Recovers from the Diesel Emissions Scandal, Kia Bets on Diesel with New 48V Mild Hybrid System
Between the Volkswagen Emission Scandal and so many other automakers cooking their emissions figures like an accountant for the Mob, the future of diesel looks bleak. Some automakers are trying to save them while others are starting to venture away from them. After all, electric cars are the future, right? Well, be that as it may, Kia is betting on diesel to stay around a little longer and even claims it can cut emissions by as much as seven percent on the NEDC cycle thanks to a new 48-volt mild-hybrid drivetrain.
A Combination of Poor Diesel Sales and Brexit Leads to Jaguar Land Rover Job Cuts and Reduced Production
2018 hasn’t been a good year for Jaguar Land Rover. The automaker is reporting massive declines in sales volume as fears over Brexit begin to take hold of the company. The decline in demand for diesel models has also contributed to the stagnant sales, forcing the automaker to slash as many as 1,000 jobs and reduce production output in the U.K.
Did BMW Pull a Volkswagen? Police Raid BMW’s Headquarters to Find Out
Ever since Volkswagen got embroiled in the worst automotive scandal in recent memory, other German automakers have found themselves in the crosshairs of regulators looking into whether they were involved in transgressions similar to those that bought VW to its knees. BMW has been the one company that has so far come unscathed by the issue, but that has now changed after German prosecutors in Munich searched the automaker’s headquarters as part of their continuing investigation into these alleged emissions-cheating scandals.
German Cities Get the OK to Ban Diesel Vehicles
Two of Germany’s biggest cities can now enforce bans on diesel vehicles after the country’s top administrative court determined that a ban on diesel cars are an effective means to improve air quality in those cities. The court ruling, which Environmental Action Germany (DUH), the country’s top environment and consumer watchdog, fought for, means that the cities of Stuttgart and Dusseldorf can now impose these bans to address the rising measure of nitrogen dioxide emitted by the high concentration of diesel cars in the country.
Report: FCA to Kill Off Diesels Over the Next 5 Years
In a recent report from Financial Times who spoke with informants close to the situation, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is allegedly looking to phase out diesel engines by 2022. This comes as a response to decreasing consumer demand for diesels following the continuous scrutiny of diesel emissions and the numerous scandals surrounding Volkswagen and other automakers. Even FCA has had run-ins with government organizations over the issue.
FCA’s official plan will reportedly be announced June 1, 2018, in FCA’s next five-year master plan. Globally, FCA uses diesel engines in most of its Fiat and Alfa Romeo models. However, diesel sales in Europe fell eight percent in 2017, moving diesel’s market share to 43.8 percent, according to a study by Jato Dynamics. Despite this slump, FCA’s diesel sales actually grew slightly.
While this spells bad news for diesel fans in Europe, fans in North America will likely dodge the bullet. FCA’s only diesel offered stateside is the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, and the 6.7-liter inline-six turbodiesel is sources from Cummins. The EcoDiesel is found in the Ram 1500, ProMaster van, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and is soon expected in the Jeep Wrangler JL. The 6.7-liter Cummins is only used in Ram’s Heavy Duty lineup.
The EcoDiesel recently rearmed the EPA’s approval after a stop-sale order for nearly a year. The EPA reports it found an emissions cheating device similar to those found in Volkswagen TDI engines. FCA is still facing a $4.6 billion fine for the issue and is currently recalling more than 104,000 vehicles for a reprogram of their engine control modules.
The mighty Cummins turbodiesel is exempt from most of the EPA’s emissions regulations since it’s only available in vehicles above a specified weight limit.
So, as FCA begins slowly phasing out diesels in Europe and other markets around the globe, customers in Canada and the U.S. can expect to keep their turbodiesel options. Nevertheless, we’ll have to see what FCA’s upcoming master plan has in store come June 1. Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for developing information.
FCA Facing Big Fines Over Diesel Emissions Cheating
A new stage has been reached with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ legal troubles over alleged cheating diesels. The U.S. Department of Justice has offered to settle its lawsuit against the automaker if FCA recalls 104,000 Jeep and Ram vehicles equipped with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 for a software upgrade and to pay a “very substantial” fine that, according to the DOJ, “adequately reflects the seriousness of the conduct that led to the violations.”
While the fine amount has not been disclosed, it will likely be far less than Volkswagen’s massive $30 billion fine over its emission test-dodging diesels fitted in 580,000 vehicles in the U.S. Globally, Volkswagen’s turbodiesel issue affected some 11 million vehicles. Estimates made last year by Barclays Plc, Mediobanca SpA and Evercore ISI say FCA could be liable for between $460 million and more than $1 billion.
Unlike Volkswagen, FCA has denied any wrongdoing or conscious effort to cheat on emissions testing with its EcoDiesel V-6. The EPA is also not requesting FCA conduct a buy-back of the vehicles. The diesels in question were sold in 2014 to 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 pickups. The EPA denied FCA permission to sell 2017 model year vehicles with the EcoDiesel.
The EcoDiesel’s still has a future, though. FCA says its updated EcoDiesel will make more power and be available in future vehicles. The new engine is said to have increased horsepower from 240 to 260 and torque from 420 to 442 pound-feet. The engine will return to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, debut in the new Jeep Wrangler JL, and be available in the new 2019 Ram 1500.
Volkswagen Asks For Trial Delay After Lawyer Mentions Monkey Gassing Scandal In Netflix Documentary
Late last month, it was revealed that Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler funded scientific studies to help promote the idea that modern diesel engines run cleaner than older diesels. It turned out the studies involved forcing monkeys to breathe diesel fumes in an airtight chamber, prompting one lawyer on the diesel owner’s side of the scandal to draw comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Now, Volkswagen says the remarks could bias the jury in its latest Diesel Gate trial cases.
Continue reading for the full story.
If Mercedes Drops Diesel in the U.S., the new X-Class Becomes Under-powered and Obsolete
Mercedes-Benz had been on the fence about bringing the X-Class mid-size pickup to the U.S. ever since the project got started. Conflicting reports from the automaker danced the fine line of “we’re researching the American market” to “we’re not offering the X-Class in North America.” Sadly, the latter statement eventually won out. However, a slight tinge that not all hope was lost still lingers. Unfortunately again, sad news reigns. Mercedes has given up selling diesels in the U.S.
What does that mean for the X-Class? Well, it removes all but the base X200 model and its underpowered, naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder as the only engine currently in the X-Class that could be sold on U.S. shores.
Keep reading for the back story.
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Mercedes has Been Bullied by the EPA Enough; Will Quit Selling Diesel-Powered Cars in the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz is throwing in the white flag on selling diesel cars in the U.S. No official announcement has been made, but it’s looking like that’s the road the German automaker is taking. No less than Ola Kallenius, the head of research and development for the Mercedes-Benz Car Group, dropped those hints in a conversation with The Detroit Bureau at the Detroit Auto Show last week. Unless a dramatic turnaround happens, the days of diesel-powered Mercs in America are numbered.
The 2019 Silverado’s 3.0-Liter Duramax Is Chevy’s First I-6 Turbodiesel
Chevrolet is breaking the status quo with its all-new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel. Announce in conjunction with the new 2019 Silverado 1500, this light-duty turbodiesel marks a few big milestones for the automaker. It breaks convention by avoiding the familiar V-6 design used by both Ford and Ram’s 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesels.
First, the 3.0-liter I-6 Duramax is the first straight-six diesel engine Chevy has ever made, and second, it’s the first inline-six produced since the Chevy Trailblazer and its 4.2-liter Atlas I-6 ended production during the 2009 model year.
Ford F-150 Power Stroke Turbodiesel Finally Debuts for 2018
Ford has finally pulled the wraps off its long-awaited 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 turbodiesel for the 2018 F-150. The engine will compete directly with the Ram 1500’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and General Motors’ upcoming light-duty turbodiesel anticipated for the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.The addition of the Power Stroke to the F-150 lineup means six engines to choose from.
The 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 makes an impressive 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, with torque peaking at just 1,750 rpm. The engine comes mated to Ford’s 10-speed automatic with a unique calibration for diesel use. With the right truck configuration, Ford says the Power Stroke will tow 11,400 pounds and haul 2,020 pounds in the bed. That’s a full 2,190 pounds more than the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is able to tow, and 420 pounds more than the Ram can haul. Naturally, Ford is also looking to beat Ram at fuel economy, too. Ford is shooting for 30 mpg on the highway – beating the Ram by one mpg. Only the EPA’s testing will validate Ford’s engineering.
Continue reading for more information on the 2018 F-150 Power Stroke.
Cummins Will Now Sell You A Turbodiesel Crate Engine
Cummins, a big name in the turbodiesel world and supplier of the venerable and highly praised inline six-cylinder turbodiesels used in Ram’s heavy-duty pickups, is now launching a crate engine program called Cummins Repower. The program allows the general public to purchase brand new turbodiesels directly from Cummins. Before, salvage yards were the only way to acquire a Cummins not attached to a brand new pickup or piece of machinery. The Repower program’s first crate engine is the R2.8, a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with 161 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque.
Cummins is marketing the R2.8 as a cleaner and more fuel-efficient alternative to restoring an older gasoline or diesel engine in classic trucks and SUVs. The turbodiesel uses modern electronics and fly-by-wire connections and meets the EPA’s Tier 1 emissions standards. The R2.8 is derived from Cummins’ global platform engine, which is used in small pickups, chassis cabs, vans, and SUVs worldwide. But Cummins didn’t leave it alone. Updates and emissions modifications were made for the R2.8 with an eye on the North American enthusiast market. Impressively, the heavy-duty turbodiesel weighs only 503 pounds, which is roughly 75 pounds lighter than the classic, all-iron 350 cubic-inch small block Chevy V-8. While the R2.8’s power output isn’t as robust as a modified 350 V-8, the Cummins offers better fuel economy, and its direct-injection fuel system is more reliable than a carburetor could ever hope to be. Of course, there are plenty of downsides, but we’ll cover that below.
Continue reading for more on the Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel.
Upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor Might Go Diesel
Rumors of Ford’s upcoming mid-size Ranger pickup are compiling. That’s especially true for the highly anticipated Ranger Raptor, the hard-core version built to hang with the Ford F-150 Raptor in high-speed off-roading. But of the rumors and insider information about the Ranger Raptor, none have seemed to nail down what will power this baby beast – until now. Australian automotive outlet The Motor Report is citing “sources familiar with the new model’s development” that Ford is developing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with at least as much power in the Ranger’s current 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel. The new 2.0-liter will be a member of Ford’s new EcoBlue turbodiesel family and will generate no less than 236 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque while getting better fuel economy and producing fewer emissions.
The EcoBlue engine family debuted in 2016 and is rolling out in markets across the world in the Transit van. Here in the U.S., the Ranger Raptor will likely be our first taste of the EcoBlue. Ford says durability is improved 20 percent over the EcoBlue’s predecessor, the 2.2-liter TDCi. It features a low-inertia turbocharger with cutting-edge alloy materials for better resistance against high temperatures, a new high-pressure fuel injection system that’s quieter and more responsive, and an offset crankshaft within the iron block that’s said to reduce side-load pressure on pistons against the cylinder walls. Interestingly, rather than a chain drive for the overhead camshafts and oil pump, the new EcoBlue uses a belt-in-oil design that’s engineered to be a maintenance-free item.
Continue reading for more on the Ranger Raptor’s rumored engine.
Expecting Greatness From The Ford F-150’s Upcoming Turbodiesel V-6
Ford made big waves in the half-ton pickup segment when it announced the 2018 F-150 would be available with a V-6 turbodiesel. Details about the new 3.0-liter have been scarce, with Ford only divulging it was designed, engineered, and tested in-house and that it will wear the Power Stroke name. Fortunately for us, Ford’s corporate ties to Jaguar Land Rover give telling clues about the new Power Stroke.
See, Jaguar Land Rover’s 3.0-liter V-6 Td6 turbodiesel is actually a Ford engine – a byproduct of Ford’s past ownership of both Jaguar and Land Rover. The engine is even found in Peugeot and Citroën cars, too, as part of the Lion engine series. Introduced in the U.S. for the 2016 model year, the 3.0 Td6 plays a staring role in Land Rover’s new Discovery, the Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport. To show off the Td6’s abilities, Land Rover recently hitched a diesel Discovery to a 121-ton road train in Australia. The 328-foot-long semi truck included seven trailers – three more than what’s typically legal to tow across the open roads of the Outback. The Discovery’s turbodiesel and full-time 4WD system seemingly had no problem moving the 242,000-pound behemoth 10 miles across a flat stretch of closed highway. That’s an impressive feat given the engine’s output of 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. While Ford hasn’t disclosed its 3.0-liter Power Stroke’s specs, we can bet big money it won’t make less power than its Land Rover twin. So what does that mean for the mid-2018 F-150? Keep reading to see what we think.
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As I’m sure many of you’ve heard, the U.K. wants to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by the year 2040. According to the British government, the proposed ban is supposed to lower air pollution and save the penguins or something. I’m sorry, but this is total nonsense. The fact of the matter is, switching from diesel and petrol-fueled vehicles will, at best, do nothing. It is true that electric cars are more efficient than petrol and diesel-fueled vehicles, and they produce fewer emissions post-production. But by switching from petrol and diesel cars to electric cars, you are relying more on the nation’s power grid.
The British government hasn’t released full year statistics regarding energy production and consumption since 2015, and as a result, these figures may or may not be totally accurate. These figures were taken from the 2016 press release of U.K. Energy Statistics for 2015 and Q4 2015 . According to this document, the majority of energy produced in the U.K. comes from non-renewable resources. Natural gas seems to be the energy source of choice, accounting for the most electricity generated at 29.5 percent. Renewable energy sources account for 24.7 percent, nuclear for 20.8 percent, coal for 22.6 percent, and oil and other sources for 2.4 percent.